The Voyage is Finished

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So, the wonderful voyage that has been the Nautical bloghop has finished. I hope that you enjoyed the Journey, read through the other Vessels’ posts and maybe learned some new things. Above all, I hope you, the reader, enjoyed it. I know I did.

I would like to thank all the authors and bloggers for taking part, and for welcoming me onto the voyage. Especially I would like to thank Helen Hollick for allowing me the honour of participating. Back to the editing for the full length Novel, Staymaker, in earnest now. Just a reminder, the short Stories are fully available on Kindle here.

 

Just a final shout to the bloggers invloved:

  1. J.M. Aucoin http://jmaucoin.com/
  2. Helen Hollick http://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/weigh-anchor-nautical-blog-hop.html
  3. Doug Boren http://doug1401ck.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/pirates-and-their-ships.html
  4. Linda Collison  http://www.lindacollison.com/women-working-men-aboard-ship
  5. Margaret Muir www.margaretmuirauthor.blogspot.com
  6. Julian Stockwin http://julianstockwin.com/welcome-front-page/blog-page/
  7. Anna Belfrage http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/by-the-sea-by-the-beautiful-sea/
  8. Andy Millen http://wp.me/p3GFor-1W
  9. V.E. Ulett  http://www.veulett.com/2013/09/16/weigh-anchor-nautical-blog-hop/
  10. T.S. Rhodes http://thepirateempire.blogspot.co.uk/
  11. Mark Patton http://mark-patton.blogspot.co.uk/
  12. Katherine Bone http://www.katherinebone.com/
  13. Alaric Bond  http://blog.alaricbond.com/
  14. Ginger Myrick  http://gingermyrick.com/nautical-blog-hop/
  15. Judith Starkston http://www.judithstarkston.com/articles/the-wonders-of-middle-age-shipwrecks/
  16. Seymour Hamilton http://seymourhamilton.com/?p=168
  17. Rick Spilman http://www.oldsaltblog.com/
  18. James L. Nelson http://jameslnelson.blogspot.co.uk/
  19. S.J. Turney http://sjat.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/nautical-meanderings/
  20. Prue Batten http://pruebatten.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/knowing-the-ropes/
  21. Antoine Vanner http://dawlishchronicles.blogspot.co.uk/
  22. Joan Druett http://www.joan-druett.blogspot.co.nz/
  23. Edward James http://busywords.wordpress.com/

 

 

The Cutters – the Smugglers’ vessel of choice.

2013-Nautical-Blog-Hop-lgFor the first half of the 18th Century, with most of the revenue’s prevention methods being focused on land based actions against the gangs, they relied on the Navy to try and confound the smugglers’ vessels at sea and prevent them landing. Even their smallest sloops however, were no match in terms of speed and manoeuvrability for the smugglers’ ships. So, why did the smugglers have the advantage?

The answer comes in their construction and design. Unlike the Naval Sloops, which were built of stout, heavy, English oak, the cutter’s were generally built of fir, which was just as watertight, but cheaper and lighter. Lighter timber meant less weight, and more speed.  The hulls of both vessels were assembled differently. The cutters were “carvel built” that is each board of the hull was fastened edge to edge, which gave it a smooth surface thus streamlining it. The Sloops, by contrast, were “Clinker built” – each plank overlapped the other, This, while easier to make watertight, increased the resistance of the ship through the waves, thus slowing it down.

construction

Shallower keels and wider hulls made these vessels able to sail close to the coast, and up channels that would have beached the Naval vessels. (an example to the Naval Sloop’s lack of manoeuvrability is the fact that the Sloop protecting Poole in 1747, The Spence, was beached due to low tide, and could not bring it’s guns to bear on the Smugglers as they stole back their seized cargo from the Custom’s house).

These vessels varied in size, the smallest being single decked affairs, going up to the largest ones which carried guns, a crew of some fifty, and decks to store huge cargoes. (The Three Brothers , (which carried the aforementioned seized cargo, was one such ship. )

Another advantage the Cutters had was with their sails and rigging.  The Naval Sloops were Typically “Bermuda Rigged” – designed in the 17th Century. These typically had triangular sails, and were fore and aft rigged, with a long bowsprit, to maximise the size  and area of the sails exposed to the wind, thus increasing their speed. They could have up to three masts. The Cutters, like the Sloops, were fore and Aft rigged, but improvements in design had evolved (the Navy behind the times) and these were typically “Gaff Rigged” – that is square sails, which gave 25% more canvas to catch the wind, and the head was controlled by a spar which increased the speed at which the sails could be turned to match the wind direction, handy for quick exists from coves and bays.

All this added up to Vessels that could outrun the best the Navy had to offer at the time. The answer was obvious, that the Navy and Revenue would use Cutter’s to chase the ships. Sadly again, this was another area where they were behind the times. The Admiralty had it’s focus on warships, and the Revenue were not permitted to assemble their own fleet at this time. Individual Controllers of Customs did hire Cutter Captains in individual cases (For Example William Milner of Poole hired a Captain Johnson and his cutter The Swift to chase down the Three Brothers – which it did successfully ) often promising a cut of the cargo as a reward. However, these crews were often unreliable, occasionally taking the whole cargo for themselves, and profiting from it. It wasn’t until after 1750, and the break up of The Hawkhurst Gang, that those in authority learned from their mistakes, and began commissioning  their own cutters.

smugglercutter

Bibliography.

“Smuggling in Kent and Sussex 1700-1840” MAry Waugh, Countryside books,1985

“Smuggling in the British Isles, A History” Richard Platt Tempus Publishing, 2007 

“King’s Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855” E Keble Chatterton Project Gutenberg Ebook, 2006 . 

 

 

Final Orders are in, the Fleet is signalled.

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Nautical Blog hop sets sail on the morning tide, the fleet is assembled, and the Final crew manifest is below. 5,000 years of Nautical History and fiction, in one week.

1.              J.M. Aucoin http://jmaucoin.com/2013/09/16/nautical-blog-hop-black-men-the-black-flag/

2.              Helen Hollick http://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/weigh-anchor-nautical-blog-hop.html

3.              Doug Boren http://doug1401ck.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/pirates-and-their-ships.html

4.              Linda Collison  http://www.lindacollison.com/women-working-men-aboard-ship

5.              Margaret Muir www.margaretmuirauthor.blogspot.com

6.              Julian Stockwin http://julianstockwin.com/welcome-front-page/blog-page/

7.              Anna Belfrage http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/by-the-sea-by-the-beautiful-sea/

8.               Andy Millen http://wp.me/p3GFor-1W

9.              V.E. Ulett  http://www.veulett.com/2013/09/16/weigh-anchor-nautical-blog-hop/

10.           T.S. Rhodes http://thepirateempire.blogspot.co.uk/

11.           Mark Patton http://mark-patton.blogspot.co.uk/

12.           Alaric Bond  http://blog.alaricbond.com/

13.            Ginger Myrick  http://gingermyrick.com/nautical-blog-hop/

14.            Judith Starkston  http://www.judithstarkston.com/articles/the-wonders-of-bronze-age-shipwrecks/

15.           Seymour Hamilton http://seymourhamilton.com/?p=168

16.            Rick Spilman http://www.oldsaltblog.com/

17.           James L. Nelson http://jameslnelson.blogspot.co.uk/

18.             S.J. Turney http://sjat.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/nautical-meanderings/

19.           Prue Batten http://pruebatten.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/knowing-the-ropes/

20.           Antoine Vanner http://dawlishchronicles.blogspot.co.uk/

21.           Joan Druett http://www.joan-druett.blogspot.co.nz/

22.           Edward James http://busywords.wordpress.com/

23.           Nighthawk News http://nthn.firetrench.com/2013/09/stand-by-to-raise-anchor/

Nautical Bloghop 17-21st Sept 2013 . Final Preview .

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So, with just two days to go before we set sail, the final crew manifest is in, and more details are to hand.

Firstly, We have been joined by Ian Johnstone-Bryden of Nighthawk News – which is a FIRE Project portal providing a news column and access to the FIRE Project Central Information Resource. Nighthawk News and its associated information resource is dedicated to the topics of publishing and creative arts. The Firetrench eBookshop link at Nighthawk News provides access to eBooks published by Nighthawk Publishing which is operates as a part of the FIRE Project offering portable pre-processed data in a standard eBook format. Nighthawk Publishing also offers an expanding range of publications, book and serial, in electronic and paper form. The FIRE Project is a community service information project from Firetrench and is staffed by volunteers .

Edward James will be writing a fictional account of what happened to the Norse Greenland expedition, while V. E Ullet will be writing on naval families. – “The best bit of research I’ve never used”

Judith Starkson will be talking about  a Late Bronze Age shipwreck off Turkey that was a breakthrough in underwater archaeology, and is joined in that era by Mark Patton who will be exploring the first great age of sail, between three and four thousand years ago.

Rick Spilman will be posting about the age of the windjammers, whether history is all just a sea story, tracking down historical characters and rogue waves, all with a late 19th century / early 20th maritime slant. He will be doing a different post each day, so plenty to immerse yourself in there.

 Anna Belfrage will post a reflection on the courage required to cross the seas to new, unknown lands – back then when the lands across the seas were truly unknown, and the sea itself quite dangerous.

Julian Stockwin’s Post will be entitled “Summoning the Maritime Muse” – and will hopefully answer the question where he gets his ideas from.

Pru Batten has something on the vessels used in her “Gisbourne Saga” set in the 12th Century.  Sailing ships called “Nefs” .

Joan Druett has five different posts scheduled for each day of the Hop, all about women on whalers.  The first is about Mary Brewster, the pioneering whaling wife, and the rest are about Viola Cook’s many strange sojourns in the Arctic, Sarah Gray and the cask with her husband’s remains, Martha Brown, who was marooned by her husband, and “George Wheldon,” the cross-dressed whaler.

Antione Vanner will have two articles – one on The menace of derelicts in the Age of Sail, and a long post on  Coast Defence Ships 1860 – 1951.

Last on this list is me… a post on the technology that made the cutter’s used by the smugglers in the 1740’s able to outrun the best the Royal Navy could throw at them.

The full and final list of participants is below, all I can say is I am looking forward to the off, see you there!

  1. J.M. Aucoin http://jmaucoin.com/
  2. Helen Hollick http://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/weigh-anchor-nautical-blog-hop.html
  3. Doug Boren http://doug1401ck.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/pirates-and-their-ships.html
  4. Linda Collison  http://www.lindacollison.com/women-working-men-aboard-ship
  5. Margaret Muir www.margaretmuirauthor.blogspot.com
  6. Julian Stockwin http://julianstockwin.com/welcome-front-page/blog-page/
  7. Anna Belfrage http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/by-the-sea-by-the-beautiful-sea/
  8. Andy Millen http://wp.me/p3GFor-1W
  9. V.E. Ulett  http://www.veulett.com/2013/09/16/weigh-anchor-nautical-blog-hop/
  10. T.S. Rhodes http://thepirateempire.blogspot.co.uk/
  11. Mark Patton http://mark-patton.blogspot.co.uk/
  12. Katherine Bone http://www.katherinebone.com/
  13. Alaric Bond  http://blog.alaricbond.com/
  14. Ginger Myrick  http://gingermyrick.com/nautical-blog-hop/
  15. Judith Starkston http://www.judithstarkston.com/articles/the-wonders-of%E2%80%A6age-shipwrecks/
  16. Seymour Hamilton http://seymourhamilton.com/?p=168
  17. Rick Spilman http://www.oldsaltblog.com/
  18. James L. Nelson http://jameslnelson.blogspot.co.uk/
  19. S.J. Turney http://sjat.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/nautical-meanderings/
  20. Prue Batten http://pruebatten.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/knowing-the-ropes/
  21. Antoine Vanner http://dawlishchronicles.blogspot.co.uk/
  22. Joan Druett http://www.joan-druett.blogspot.co.nz/
  23. Edward James http://busywords.wordpress.com/

 

Nautical Blog Hop Preview

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 Well, with five days to go before we weigh anchor and set sail on the briny seas , the captain has given us our orders, and us crew are busy making this blog hop watertight, ship-shape and Bristol fashion .  A little taste of what is to come seems to be in order.

Well, I will be talking about why, by the 1740’s  the Smuggler’s cutters were able to outfox,outsmart and outrun the best the Navy had to offer. Technology , that was the key .

Ginger Myrick is writing about the Portuguese during the Age of Discovery – the country was at the forefront of Naval exploration during this time, and there voyages perhaps more than most ushered in what was later to become colonialism, so this should be interesting. (Oops, may have just started a Portuguese/Viking war here! )

Joan Druett has five different posts scheduled for each day of the Hop, all about women on whalers.  The first is about Mary Brewster, the pioneering whaling wife, and the rest are about Viola Cook’s many strange sojourns in the Arctic, Sarah Gray and the cask with her husband’s remains, Martha Brown, who was marooned by her husband, and “George Wheldon,” the cross-dressed whaler.

That is three out of the  twenty-three of us aboard this vessel . The full crew list is below,. More missives will follow as soon as the Captain sends them.

  1. J.M. Aucoin http://jmaucoin.com/
  2. Helen Hollick http://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/weigh-anchor-nautical-blog-hop.html
  3. Doug Boren http://doug1401ck.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/pirates-and-their-ships.html
  4. Linda Collison  http://www.lindacollison.com/women-working-men-aboard-ship
  5. Margaret Muir www.margaretmuirauthor.blogspot.com
  6. Julian Stockwin http://julianstockwin.com/welcome-front-page/blog-page/
  7. Anna Belfrage http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/by-the-sea-by-the-beautiful-sea/
  8. Andy Millen http://wp.me/p3GFor-1W
  9. V.E. Ulett  http://www.veulett.com/2013/09/16/weigh-anchor-nautical-blog-hop/
  10. T.S. Rhodes http://thepirateempire.blogspot.co.uk/
  11. Mark Patton http://mark-patton.blogspot.co.uk/
  12. Katherine Bone http://www.katherinebone.com/
  13. Alaric Bond  http://blog.alaricbond.com/
  14. Ginger Myrick  http://gingermyrick.com/nautical-blog-hop/
  15. Judith Starkston http://www.judithstarkston.com/articles/the-wonders-of%E2%80%A6age-shipwrecks/
  16. Seymour Hamilton http://seymourhamilton.com/?p=168
  17. Rick Spilman http://www.oldsaltblog.com/
  18. James L. Nelson http://jameslnelson.blogspot.co.uk/
  19. S.J. Turney http://sjat.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/nautical-meanderings/
  20. Prue Batten http://pruebatten.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/knowing-the-ropes/
  21. Antoine Vanner http://dawlishchronicles.blogspot.co.uk/
  22. Joan Druett http://www.joan-druett.blogspot.co.nz/
  23. Edward James http://busywords.wordpress.com/

“A Thousand Words” Scott C Smith REVIEW

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Portland author Scott C Smith comes up with a belter of a Novella. Josh Simmons is an IT consultant, and after a late finish, decides to Stop off in a Hotel for teh night rather than take the long drive home. Before is finds one, he stops at a book store, and picks up a book about World War Two. Within this book is a photo of a young Nazi Soldier that is the spitting image of him. Back in his Hotel, he finds himself lucid dreaming the disturbing events leading to the photo being taken. This opens a time travel conduit to the soldier (think quantum leap), which turns out to be a two way street with very bad consequences.

This is a great story, which left me on the edge of my seat all the way through. In his Bio, Scott namechecks Steven King, and this tale is reminiscent of the master’s ability to make the fantastic seem plausable and chilling. It is well written, and has a slick feel to it, each twist takes you deeper into Simmon’s nightmare, right until the end. unputdownable.

It is available in both print or Kindle form from here , and on the strength of this, I will be buying “Awake” his first Full length Novel.